By Greg Mills
The team at Apple has no shortage of talent. Jonathan Ive is the public face of the industrial design at Apple. Being vice president of Design at Apple has given Ive the opportunity to create designs that are part of the lives of people all around the world. Even the Queen of England has an iPod and surely an iPad. The elegance of Ive designs is perfectly in line with the minimalist tastes of Steve Jobs.
Coming from England to the US in 1992 to work for Apple, Ive’s designs so intrigued Jobs when he returned from Siberia that in no time, the famous Jobs/Ive team were working on killer new concepts in computers and the rest of the product line at Apple.
Some have suggested that Ive might be in line for CEO of Apple when Steve Jobs retires. I think that would be a waste of his energy as, Jobs aside, what it takes to be a great CEO isn’t creativity in industrial design. A good CEO could provide the environment for Ive to thrive in and continue to create extraordinary products.
While a search of patents for Tim Cook comes up blank, a search of the name Ive as inventor and Apple as assignee pulls up 396 patents. While some of these patents are for design elements of out-of-date Apple products the depth of the patent portfolio with his name on it is reminiscent of the great inventor of our past.
Ive is married with twins and lives in San Francisco. He likes fast cars and streamlined minimalistic industrial design. The tight integration of sleek design married to state-of-the-art electronic parts, with elegant software to create an overall delightful user experience is what Apple is all about.
I think Jobs has set the right people into the area of the business to continue the success of the company for the foreseeable future. All the clamoring for a publicly released “succession plan” in the executive suite at Apple is just a distraction. Jobs is still with us and, even in another period of medical leave, you have to know he is still screaming at staff over minor details in software, hardware and packaging. Getting called onto the carpet in Steve’s office is as close to purgatory as anyone at Apple would want to be.
Steve hatched the iPad during his last medical leave, and would I love to be a fly on the wall when Jonathan Ive visits Steve Jobs carrying a carefully wrapped package under his arm. Prototypes of the next multi-billion dollar Apple product are already in existence, and Steve is surely sweating the details that make so much of the Apple experience magic.
That’s another Greg’s bite for today.
(Greg Mills is currently a graphic and Faux Wall Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. Greg is an Extra Class Ham Radio Operator, AB6SF, iOS developer and web site designer. He’s also working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process for turning waste dual pane glass window units into thermal solar panels used to heat water see: www.CottageIndustySolar.com . Married, with one daughter, Greg writes for intellectual property web sites and on Mac/Tech related issues. See Greg’s art web site at http://www.gregmills.com . He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org )